Should fossils be sold on the open market or kept in museum hands? The contentious issue resurfaces on 19th November at Bonhams in New York, when the fossilised remains of two duelling dinosaurs unearthed at a Montana ranch could fetch $9m. US law restricts the sale of fossils found on public, but not private, land; palaeontologists fear that the combatants, possibly two undiscovered species, will be permanently lost to science.
Now that Voyager 1 is travelling among the stars, it’s time to decide where to go next in the solar system. The Royal Astronomical Society will meet in London on 8th November to discuss how the Global Exploration Roadmap, put together by 12 space agencies including the UK’s, can be used to focus space efforts in this country. The Roadmap envisages robotic trips to the moon, to near-Earth asteroids and Mars over the next quarter of a century.
Does talking about race fuel racism? This debate on 7th November in Wolverhampton will be one of the more challenging topics in the Festival of Social Science, running from 2nd to 9th November all over the country and organised by the Economic and Social Research Council (www.esrc.ac.uk). I love the sound of Games People Play, in Stirling: as visitors play board games, social scientists will be watching for signs of values such as cooperation, reciprocity and fairness. If they ever saw the Ahujas playing Risk, they’d be waiting a long time.